E3 2021's digital show will not have a paywalled premium experience, claims ESA

Despite rumors that E3 2021 could have some sort of on-demand paid experience, the ESA has stepped in to claim that the contents of the digital showcase will be free to watch.


There’s still a lot of mystery surrounding the details of E3 in 2021. Though an online-only event has been in the works this year, we still know little about what that will entail as the ESA has worked to garner publisher support and participation in the event. There were some rumors that a paid “premium” experience was being pitched regarding E3 2021’s online event, the ESA has stepped in to shut these rumors down. Reportedly, E3 2021’s digital showcase will not have premium elements kept behind a paywall.

This information comes directly from the ESA, who addressed rumors recently reported by Video Games Chronicle on April 1, 2021. Though VGC claimed multiple sources had reported a pitch going around about a paid experience for E3 2021’s online event, the ESA reached out to VGC and clarified via its own social media that there would not be a premium paid experience for E3 2021’s digital show. It will be a free event to all attendees.

It was back in February 2021 that rumor started going around that the ESA was preparing a digital pivot for E3 2021. The ESA has since expanded that the 2021 event would provide a free experience for all of those attending, though it has not specified what this experience would be or ruled out paid content altogether. VGC further reported that as rumors of a paid content package were going around, at least one participant vocally expressed criticism on the matter, which the ESA was apparently willing to back down from.

With events like Steam Next Fest, Geoff Keighley’s Summer Game Fest, gamescom 2020, and other events having pivoted to online forms full of free content, it makes sense that E3 2021 should also be free in some capacity. That said, the ESA has promised expanded details coming soon. Stay tuned for further information and updates as they become available.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at tj.denzer@shacknews.com and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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